Hope for Nineveh
Written by: Bailey Chapa
Click HERE to listen to today's devotion
“The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.’ But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish. He went to the city of Joppa, where he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard, planning to go to
Tarshish to run away from the Lord.”
- Jonah 1:1-3 NCV
I asked a friend this week what she thought of when I said the name Jonah. Besides the general idea of Jonah being swallowed by a fish, she said something amazing. “It is a reminder of God’s promise that He gave us.” The promise she is referring to is that He will fight for us and forgive us if we turn from our sin towards Him.
WOW! After hearing this, my body got the chills. It is so TRUE that the story of Jonah is a reminder of the hope and promise that God has given us.
The book of Jonah consists of 4 chapters. It is a very short book that has an extraordinary meaning to it. Jonah was known for going around different cities preaching what God was speaking to him to say to each specific city. And one day, Jonah was called to go to Nineveh and tell them to repent from their sins and turn to God.
Jonah was upset at this idea. He didn’t want to listen to what God called him to do because he believed that Nineveh deserved it! So he ran away! He tried his best to go to the furthest place away from Nineveh, yet God had other plans. “The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.’ But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish. He went to the city of Joppa, where he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard, planning to go to Tarshish to run away from the Lord.” (Jonah 1:1-3 NCV)
Then Jonah was asked again, after he was swallowed by a fish and spit out on dry land, to go to Nineveh.
“The Lord spoke his word to Jonah again and said, ‘Get up, go to the great city Nineveh, and preach to it what I tell you to say.’ So Jonah obeyed the Lord and got up and went to Nineveh. It was a very large city; just to walk across it took a person three days.” (Jonah 3:1-3 NCV)
Once Jonah told the people to turn from their ways and go towards God, they believed Jonah and turned from their ways. The king asked the city to go on a fast and told them that “...every person and animal should be covered with rough cloth, and people should cry loudly to God. Everyone must turn away from evil living and stop doing harm all the time” (Jonah 3:8 NCV).
God saw how they all changed their lives and wanted to pursue God! They heard His warning and listened! That was when God “...changed his mind and did not do what he had warned. He did not punish them” (Jonah 3:10 NCV).
This is the hope and the promise that God has for us! He will not let us run away from Him! His promise to give us a second chance. The hope that He will always be with us and love us unconditionally! Continuing to spread His love and care to everyone!
1.God offers hope for us everyday. What ways today can you be reminded about His hope that He offers you?
2. No matter what your past, present, or future is, God will always love you unconditionally. What is something that is holding you back from fully accepting God’s hope and forgiveness?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for always pursuing us, always giving us a second chance, and loving us unconditionally. The hope You have given us is amazing! The hope You gave those in Nineveh is the unconditional love you have for all of us. The hope that You continue to give us, Your children, everyday!
In Your amazing name,
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? CLICK HERE